Between battling the swelling associated with pregnancy and the sweating in 30-degree weather, I was a pretty happily pregnant woman (well, kind of!). During my 35th week of pregnancy, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure was slightly elevated. Not enough to get really concerned about, but he recommended I just rest as much as possible. I was still working every day and trying to take it easy.
Suddenly, just about overnight, my ankles, legs, feet, fingers, arms and face became swollen and sore to the touch. I looked like a walking blimp! I went to the doctor immediately. Yup, sure enough, it was pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). I was pulled out of work at my 38th week and had to go the hospital twice a week for blood pressure checks and non-stress tests.
The original due date was April 27, 2004, and I was told that my son would weigh around nine pounds. I trogged on miserably through the next week, and at 39 weeks and two days, I went to the doctor for my appointment. He stripped my membranes and told me I was 4cm. dilated.
What? A 4! How and when did that happen? I panicked at the immediate thought that I would surely go into labor over the next few days. Boy was I wrong! The contractions started and stopped all week-end, and on Saturday, I noticed lots of mucus. I called the birthing center and was told to come in. They did a FERN test to ensure that it was not amniotic fluid, and set me up to be induced on Monday, April 26.
I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., feeling my nerves get torn to pieces. My doctor broke my water at 7:00 a.m. and 15 minutes later...BOOM, came the contractions. I was told that I would probably deliver by lunchtime. As far as pain goes, I went along rather quickly in labor!
When I was at 5-6 cm. (around 10 a.m.), I asked for pain meds. in my IV and was given Nubane. It made me very sleepy, but the contractions knocked it right out and within about 15 minutes I was in full-fledged pain again, so I asked for the epidural. It took a while to get it. I was at a 7-8 cm. when I asked for it and thought it was almost too late to receive it. All I could think was "No, not me. This cannot be happening. I CANNOT deliver this baby without the epidural!"
Finally, I received the shot and within a matter of minutes, I went to a full 10 cm. dilation. I was told to start pushing at 12:00, noon, on the dot. All I could think was that it was lunchtime and I was starving! I will say that the epidural helped, but honestly, I could still feel a lot of my contractions. The anesthesiologist told me he didn't put much in because I was so close to pushing and he wanted me to be able to feel myself push. So I pushed, and pushed, and kept on pushing!
Around 12:45, my nurse and my husband could see my son's head. At 1:15 p.m., they couldn't see it. They had let my epidural wear off around 1:00 p.m. and I felt this huge pain in my back. I then realized that I was experiencing back labor. Sure enough, the nurse checked and my baby was face up. I screamed through the pain until 2:30 p.m. and finally my doctor came in.
The baby was more or less stuck and was not coming out. He was too big to come through my pelvis so I had to be prepped for a C-section.
At 2:56 p.m., I was in the OR and that is the last thing I remember. When I woke up, it was 3:50 p.m. and I was being sewn up. I listened for the sound of my baby's crying and looked for the familiar face of my husband but they weren't there. Then I wondered what was going on. The doctors told me that the baby was fine, and that he and my husband were in our room getting cleaned up. I was so upset that I did not get to meet my son as soon as he was born! The doctors had opted for complete anaesthesia because of the pain and my rising blood pressure. I'm glad if that helped prevent complications, but I'd wanted to see my son when he was born so badly!
Well, I was wheeled out of the room to recovery and my body was on fire. I was in pain once again until I saw my husband with his eyes all swollen from crying and a huge smile on his face. I stayed in recovery until almost 5:15 p.m., and then was wheeled to my room to meet my son.
The best moment in my life is when I got to hold my child whom I had carried for so long, and for whom I'd gone through so much pain. At that moment, I realized that what everyone says is true. Every bit of suffering that I went through was worth it, and I'd do it all over again in a skinny minute.
My son, Mason Cole Baker was born at 3:15 p.m. weighing nine pounds, three point three ounces, and measuring twenty one and a half inches long. He is the love of my life and I don't know how I ever lived without him.